Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Neuschwanstein Castle



April 28-29:
After our climb in Ulm, we drove on to Schwangau and saw Mad King Ludwig's couple of homes. Construction was never actually finished on this extra summer home of his before he died. This is the castle that Disney copied the look of for their fairy tales and at their parks, so Reagan was a little in love with it!
Grandpa Martin on Ryan-stroller-nap duty, letting him sleep as long as possible before our tour
From an inner courtyard before starting our tour.
After touring the castle and making our way back down to the town/tourist area in the pooring rain, we found a cute hotel (where's Reagan's bed happened to have a view right out the window up at the castle on the hill) with another great restaurant. Cam tried pork knuckle and I tried red venison. Awesome!

Ulm, Germany

April 27-28:
After arriving in Ulm, finding a hotel and grabbing another delicious (and late) German dinner, we woke the next morning to the typical breakfast spread at every hotel (loved that!) and then climbed the tallest church in the world, right next to our hotel! It was quite a strange, medieval site in the middle of such a modern square full of shops. Reagan climbed the entire thing herself, both up and down. It was ~760 steps in narrow stone spiral staircases. We took turns carrying Ryan between Cam, myself, and my Dad since he still had quite a limp even on flat ground. It was a great workout! It was so exhilarating and adventurous to climb and haul the kids up that it was probably one of my favorite parts of the whole trip!

Panoramic shot by Cam since we couldn't fit it all in one (3 shots pieced together)
We thought we were as high as we could go here ...
... then saw we still had the steeple to climb! Yay! (my Dad's and my reaction) No way! (Cam's reaction - noticing parts of the ancient stone structure were being held together with chicken wire weren't helping his heights issues :-) Every single one of us made it to the very top though!
Reagan's pink pants were a nice shade of black after going down the whole thing on her butt!
When the kids and I were getting ready for bed the night before, Cam popped outside and got this awesome night shot! Spooky!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Camelot Catch Up (Nov 2010 - Apr 2011)

November:
For Cam's birthday, we went zip lining in the Santa Cruz redwoods with a group of old work friends of mine. Rani came along to watch the kids. Cam worked hard to conquer his fear of heights and managed to get through it all. I even felt my stomach in my throat when we reached the first tree platform 150 feet in the air! Afterward, we ate at a great restaurant where the wait staff put on little song and dance shows on a small stage.

December:
We celebrated Christmas and New Year's at home, just the 4 of us. Ryan got a train table and a "balance bike". Reagan got lots of miscellaneous pink stuff - a princess scarf, fairy wings and wand, shoes, tinkerbell dress .. that's all I can remember since it was 8 months ago!
January:
The kids and I visited Peoria while Cam was stuck working "turn-around" at work. We had a great time seeing everyone, both mine and Cam's families plus friends; Heidi and Hanna, Morgan and kids. We missed Rikki and fam because of their strep throat :( No snow until the day we had to go to the airport. Reagan was bummed about that, but got an hour to play in it before we left.

All the kids enjoying my Grandma and Mom's Holiday dinner ... the best food ever!
From left: my Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma, Reagan, Me and Ryan
Playing at the Wicklow's
Grandpa Don, the (pretend) snack snatcher (to see what Ryan would do) :-)
February:
In early February, we met Uncle Danny, Aunt Bethany and some of their friends in Tahoe (again with Cam stuck at work) and Reagan skied for the first time! Ryan tried the skis on too, but that didn't last long. It was gorgeous weather! Also, on Feb 27th, Ryan turned 2!

Here's a video of her skiing:
video

March:
First weekend of March, we went to Tahoe with friends (2 other families). Reagan rode in a chairlift for the first time! The Dads made a great sledding hill out of the plowed mound of snow outside our cabin door. The big kids loved it. Ryan loved the snow tunnel Cam dug for him.
Then March 16, the leg break. Poor Ryan.. he simply tried to straddle a foam roller and it rolled away with his foot stuck on top and his legs were pulled apart and twisted causing a spiral fracture in his left femur. After an x-ray and multi-hour ER visit to get it splinted, we spent 5 tedious days at home moving him as little as possible until casting day.
Ryan getting casted
We tried to keep him entertained before the cast. He was sad and angry a lot at first, it sucked!

April:
Reagan turned 5 on April 13! She had a gymnastics party and loved it. Ryan had gotten to be a pro with his cast by this time, scooting all over the place as if he'd always had a bum leg. The cast was purposely done with a right angle to prevent him from trying to walk on it, so scooting around was his only option.

Here's a video of Ryan scooting at her gymnastics party:
video